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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Part 3

SEO Keyword Use

So you’ve researched which keywords you want to target, but just putting the keywords in your <title> and <h1> tags is not enough. If you stop there, you’re not going to be able to cover all the bases or pull in as much search traffic as you could. When doing on-page optimization for your selected keywords, there are three things to take into consideration:

1.Keywords Density – How many times is your keyword mentioned on your site? If it’s too much, you’ll look like a spammer; if it’s too little, you won’t look like a relevant match and the search engines won’t consider your site.

2.Keyword Variation – Altering versions of your keywords will help you capture hidden search engine traffic.

3.Similar Keywords – These are closely related topics to your keywords that will aide the search engines in correctly categorizing your traffic.

Keyword Density

Although some SEOs will talk about aiming for an exact proportion (e.g. the number of times your keyword appears divided by the total number of words on the page), it’s a little too much work for something that will take care of itself as long as you know how to write well! Use your keyword frequently on your site, but not so much that it makes the page look weird or a sentence sound awkward. If you just use the keyword once at the top of the page and then reference the keyword as “it”, for the rest of the article, you’ll definitely be using it too little.

If you want some numbers, you should use your keyword at least three times on the page. This does not include keyword variations.

Keyword Variations

You may have found a couple of high traffic keywords using a keyword research tool, but those estimates often group similar keywords, alternate spellings, and plurals into a single word. Valuable traffic is hidden when using those tools. This hidden traffic lies in all the subtle variations of your keyword that someone may search for.

  • Plurals – The easiest way to optimize your site is to include the plural version of your keyword at least a couple of times on your page. Nearly every keyword can do this (instead of “free hat”, try “free hats”).
  • Misspellings – Although it may make your site look a little unprofessional, including a very common misspelling of your keywrod is one of the easiest ways to rank #1 for that exact spelling and get some free traffic. This is one of the fun things to experiment with after you’ve optimized the rest of your site.
  • Acronyms – If your keyword is an acronym like SEO, write out the words completely (Search Engine Optimization) so that you can target those people who do not know the acronym.

Similar Keywords

If you’re making a page to target “big hats,” consider changing up the adjective “big” to its synonyms, like “huge,” “giant,” “large,” “humongous,” or “oversized.” You can also use the names of specific words that relate to “big hats,” like “cowboy hat” and “sombrero.” By using this tactic, you give yourself a chance to rank for those similar keywords, plus you let the search engines know more about your page and what it’s about. The more a search engine knows about your page, the better off you’re going to be!

Page Depth

Page depth refers to the number of required clicks to get to a page from the homepage. Pages that are available in one click are deemed more important than those that are nearly hidden and require more than 3 clicks to reach. It might seem a little strange, but if you can visualize your website in a tree graph, you will easily notice why certain pages are performing poorly in the search engines.

By organizing your site in this format, you can see which pages are getting a lot of page depth love and which are hurting. If you have a lot of worthless pages and few important product pages, you might take this opportunity to restructure your site.

Anchor Text

Simply getting links from many other websites is not enough for your website to rank well in the search engines. The quality of your anchor text will play a huge factor in ranking your pages for specific keywords, especially competitive ones.

What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text refers to the words that make up a link, they are the words that turn your mouse cursor into a finger-pointing hand. For example, in the sentence, “I really like to go to this store,” “this store” is anchor text for the link.

Why is Anchor Text Important?

Search engines gather data by traveling around the web via links, jumping from page to page. Links are the lifeblood of a search engine and are used as key indicators for identifying the topics of the pages they’re about to go to. If 100 sites link to a site with the link “Texas Architect” or similar words, the search engine can be fairly confident that the site is about an architect in Texas.

Targeted Keywords

If you want a page to rank for a keyword that is particularly difficult, be sure to focus on getting the keyword in your anchor text. Many newbies will request links to the page they’re trying to boost and forget about the anchor text. While getting links to the page is most certainly going to help, you should try to get at least part of your keyword into the anchor text whenever you get the chance.

Keywords and URL Alignment

When getting all of these links with the desired anchor text, make sure that you’re linking to the correct page, as a very common mistake to simply link to the homepage (www.example.com) instead of the page that should be getting the link (www.example.com/rocky-mountains/oysters.php).

Stay Tuned ….

Reference – [1]“Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Beginners”,”http://www.tizag.com/SEOTutorial/index.php”,[Accessed on 10/04/2012]

Also See – Google’s Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Part 2

SEO Title Tag

The first and most important part of your on-page SEO is the title tag (<title></title>).

The benefits of using optimized title tags are three fold:

  1. A user searching for your keyword will see your site’s link highlighted in the search engines if your page’s title is the same as the phrase they searched for. This drastically increases click through and can even give you more traffic than those who rank above you if their title tags are not optimized.
  2. Increase your rankings on the search engines.
  3. Help the engines distinguish between pages that might look similar.

Higher Clickthrough Rates

Search engine optimization isn’t just about showing up number one on search engines. Rather, it’s about getting the all the traffic that you deserve from the search engines. If you rank #6 for “free hats” and you and your competitors forget to include that in the page’s title tag, chances are, the person doing the search won’t see much difference between your site and the others.

However, if you were to change your website’s title text to target your most important keyword phrase “free hats”, then when someone completes the search for “free hats”, they’d see your site show up in bold. This technique will greatly increase the user’s desire to view your site first, as your site looks much more relevant and targeted.

Better Rankings

All too often, people believe that the title tag is a place to list the business and domain name of the website. This is wrong and is wasting one of the easiest ways you can tell the search engines what the a page is about and how they should categorize it. While humans might not notice the title tag, search engines certainly do.

Use this opportunity to choose the most important keyword that you want to go after and get the free ranking boost that so many websites are missing out on. If you still want to include your domain or name of the company, do it after your keyword, followed by a dash (e.g. “free hats – hatsemporium.com”) to show that your keyword is the most important.

Help the Engines Distinguish your Pages

It’s not easy being a search engine. They crawl the web day and night, taking the information from the web and trying to categorize it in a useful manner so that users can find what they’re looking for. Make their job easier. Post clearly what the topic of each page is, using title tags, and help the search engine to distinguish one page from another.

You may have two pages that are quite similar and it may require a little thought to point out how they different. Don’t make the search engines figure out for themselves because they might make a mistake. Instead, make the decision for them. Spell the differences out for them and help your rankings in the process. This is just one strategy in avoiding the duplicate content penalty,

SEO Header and Bold Tags

Although the internet has changed a great deal in the last ten years, one thing that has remained unchanged is the way that webmasters designate topics and things of importance. Topics of a page are often set with header tags <h1> though <h6>, while important items are put in bold to make sure that the user noticed them. However, not just the user notices these attention-grabbing tags. Search engines also use these as primary indicators of what a page is about and what content its creator thought was most important.

Header tags are a great way to help boost your search engine rankings. If you’re creating a page about “free hats” and would like to rank for it, there’s nothing shady at all about including a nice big <h1>Free Hats</h1> at the top of the page to make sure your users and the search engines know what your page’s subject is. However, as with other search engine strategies, it is important not to stuff too many keywords into these tags. A good rule of thumb is to include no more than 3 or 4 <h1> tags per page, and always have at least a paragraph or two of text between your header tags.

A page that consists entirely of header tags looks pretty spammy to search engines, and it isn’t very useful to your visitors.

Bold, Italic, and Emphasis

When you’ve used up your quota of header tags on the page, don’t stress out. There are still plenty of tools to target your keywords with. When mentioning your keywords throughout the page, it’s helpful to put them into italics, bold, or emphasis (<em>) to make sure the search engines know that these words are important.

Often people use a lot of flash animations and CSS <span> tags to format text, but search engines don’t have an easy way of determining either of these. Why make the search engines work harder than they need to? Use these basic HTML tags and help yourself (and the engines) out!


Reference – [1]“Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Beginners”,”http://www.tizag.com/SEOTutorial/index.php”,[Accessed on 10/04/2012 at 8.30 a.m]
Also See – Google’s Search Engine Optimization

(Don’t Go Away More to Come in SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Part 1

You’ve finished your web design, uploaded your files, and set up your blog, but you’re still not getting as many visitors as you hoped for. What gives? Chances are you haven’t started working on one of the most important ways to market your site, Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

What SEO Is

Search Engine Optimization refers to the collection of techniques and practices that allow a site to get more traffic from search engines (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft). SEO can be divided into two main areas: off-page SEO (work that takes place separate from the website) and on-page SEO (website changes to make your website rank better). This tutorial will cover both areas in detail! Remember, a website is not fully optimized for search engines unless it employs both on and off-page SEO.

Who Uses SEO

If a website is currently ranked #10 on Google for the search phrase, “how to make egg rolls,” but wants to rise to #1, this websites needs to consider SEO. Because search engines have become more and more popular on the web, nearly anyone trying to get seen on the web can benefit from a little SEO loving.

Keyword

Before you can start optimizing your site for the search engines, you must first know which terms you want to target. A good start would be to choose 3 or 4 keywords you would like your website to rank well for.

Types of Key Words

1.Broad Keywords – A broad keyword is one that many people search for, because they may only have a vague idea of what they’re looking for. Broad keywords tend to be very short and aren’t very specific (e.g. “shoes” or “sports”). These keywords are difficult to rank #1 for because so many other websites might have an article or two that mention shoes.

2.Specific Keywords-A specific keyword is something that contains many adjectives or words that make the search very targeted. The people doing these types of searches know exactly what they want (e.g. “used black high heel shoes”). These keywords are much less competitive and are easier to rank for on search engines. The downside is that they receive a great deal less volume of searches per month.

3.Unique or Branded Keywords – These are the words that are specific to only your company. They are one of the most easiest ways to get traffic. However, some companies will release a new product, with a unique name, and then forget to optimize for that keyword on their website. Their SEO savvy competitors can then pick up the slack and take over the top rankings for these terms. If you have a popular brand or product, make sure that you have optimized for these freebie keywords.

Note

I recommend that you try to target no more than 2 or 3 keyword phrases per page. A common mistake by many SEO beginners is to stuff 500 different keywords on one page and wait for the #1 rankings to roll in. That might have worked 10 years ago, but the algorithms that search engines use these days are much more sophisticated and are not tricked by this.

What is PageRank?

PageRank is a ranking system that previously was the foundation of the infamous search engine, Google. When search engines were first developed, they ranked all websites equally and would return results based only on the content and meta tags the pages contained. At the time, however, the PageRank system would revolutionize search engine rankings by including one key factor: a site’s authority.

To determine how important, or authoritative, a site was Google chose several big sites, such as cnn.com, dmoz.org, and espn.com. These sites were clear authorities, and Google figured that if these websites chose to link to another site (let’s say site B), then site B would receive a piece of that site’s authority. If site B were to link to another site (how about C), then site C would also receive a piece of authority, though much smaller.

Using this system of passing authority, Google would then count up how much authority a site had and give it a PageRank from 0 to 10. The PageRank system has become more complicated since then, but this is how it all started.

Who Uses PageRank?

When PageRank first came out, only Google was using the technology, but as other search engines have seen how much it improved Google’s accuracy, nearly every search engine has added the PageRank system in to be at least part of their algorithm. In the past, while many of the search engines were still working on adding PageRank to their search algorithm, some couldn’t wait to make their own and instead signed deals with Google to have them power their results (Yahoo did this for quite some time).

Apart from search engines, SEOs (Search Engine Optimization specialists), link buyers, webmasters, marketers, and anyone interested in a site’s value will often look to the Google PageRank when trying to quickly determine the importance of a site.

What’s my PageRank?

If you would like to see what PageRank your site has or other sites have, install Google’s Toolbar. Google has made a small green bar that starts at 0 page rank (a blank bar) all the way up to 10 (a full green bar, which is 100% authoritative). It should be noted that the PageRank shown in the toolbar is an estimate released by Google, and it is only updated every 3 months or so.

Where do I Get PageRank for my Site?

Now we’ve come to the part where you actually have to do work! It’s tough, but getting a high PageRank for your site should definitely be part of your longterm SEO strategy.

The only way to get PageRank is to get a link from a site that already has PageRank. This means that getting a ton of links from PageRank 0 sites will not help your score. However, a single link from a site with a PageRank 6 can immediately boost your site to a PageRank 5 if the site is trusted by Google and is not linking to a massive amount of other sites.

The process of increasing your PageRank is directly tied to link acquisition. Link acquisition is getting links from other sites, be it via natural or through link purchasing.

Final Thoughts on PageRank

Although not nearly as important as it used to be, PageRank can still be the deciding factor that bumps your site to the top of the search engines. Not only that, but it is also a good indicator of which sites you should spend your most time trying to get links from.

(See Next Article for SEO Technics)

Reference – [1]“Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Beginners”,”http://www.tizag.com/SEOTutorial/index.php”,[Accessed on 10/04/2012 at 8.30 a.m]
Also See – Google’s Search Engine Optimization